Documentation:MediaWiki Basics/Uses and Benefits

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Increasingly, both students and their professors see the challenges facing the world as multidisciplinary, and the need for collaboration great. Over the past few years, the emergence of a raft of new (and often free) tools has made collaboration easier than at any other point in history. [1]

I liked the idea that students would be engaging in a real world project, with tangible and public, if not necessarily permanent, effects. In the end, an essay or an exam is an instance of busywork: usually written in haste; for one particular reader, the professor; and thereafter discarded.[2]

With this wiki activity, I felt I was contributing to much more than just my own knowledge building because my wiki isn’t static. Future students will read, evaluate, and improve upon my foundation. Not only did I feel a responsibility to myself and my prof to complete good work, but I also felt that I owed future students my best too." - Reflections by UBC student in ETEC 520


Why would I choose a Wiki?

  • Wikis support simple, collaborative authoring.
  • Wikis can be edited by anyone with access to the wiki system you are using.
  • Wikis are about collaborative resource development and easy sharing.
  • People in many professions are using wiki platforms to collaborate with the community on building shared knowledge bases - it's part of a professional skill set. Medpedia is one example.

Academic Uses

Integrated Content Management

Click to enlarge a comparison of wiki content embedded in other platforms (e.g. CMS at UBC, Connect.
  • author/edit a document collaboratively in the UBC Wiki here: and publish it here.
  • keep webpages updated and accurate by editing on the wiki, and update wherever pages are embedded.

Notes

  1. Horizon Report, 2010
  2. Was introducing Wikipedia to the classroom an act of madness leading only to mayhem if not murder? - Reflections by UBC professor Jon Beasely-Murray